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 Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The power of Office as a front-end

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Wilson, a principal with iLink, and we had a pleasant conversation about enterprise applications and trends and such. Last week, in the middle of my trip to Prague and Zurich, he sent me a link to a blog entry he'd written on using Office as a front-end, and it sort of underscored some ideas I've had around Office in general.

The interesting thing is, most of the ideas he talks about here could just as easily be implemented on top of a Java back-end, or a Ruby back-end, as a .NET back-end. Office is a tool that many end-users "get" right away (whether you agree with Microsoft's user interface metaphors or not, or even like the fact that Office is one of the most widely-installed software packages on the planet), and it has a lot of support infrastructure built in. "Mashup" doesn't have to mean YouTube on your website; in fact, I dislike the term "mashup" entirely, since it sounds like something done in the heat of the moment without any planning or thought (which is the antithesis of anything that goes--or should go--into the enterprise). Can we use the term "cardinality" instead? Please?